THINGS THAT CAN WEAKEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

A SICK BLACK WOMAN

Do you get sick often and take sick days off from work? Chances are you may have a weak immune system.

Related articles: How to manage most illness │ How to improve your health 

The immune system is the most important system of the body when it comes to preventing diseases. We are all born with different levels of immune systems. Some have a stronger immune system than others. But there are many things that can weaken an adequately strong immune system.

The immune system defends the body from developing potentially harmful diseases and conditions caused by bacterial, parasitic, fungal and viral infections. The immune system also restricts tumors and cancerous growths inside the body.

However, problems with the immune system can lead to illnesses and infections. Immune responses can be weakened by various external influences.

Here are the top things that can weaken your immune system.


Kick these surprising habits to the curb—and keep colds, flu, and other bugs at bay.

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS

Consider this a doctor's note to troll YouTube on your lunch break…

Researchers have found that the positive emotions associated with laughter decrease stress hormones and increase certain immune cells while activating others. In a study conducted at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, healthy adults who watched a funny video for an hour had significant increases in immune system activity. See Ten ways to pull yourself out of a bad mood

SMOKING - SECOND-HAND SMOKE

We don't need to tell you that puffing cigarettes are terrible for the entire body. But the secondhand kind is almost as harmful.

Each year, because of exposure to tobacco smoke, an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking people die of lung cancer and 300,000 children suffer from lower respiratory tract infections. Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack and aggravate symptoms in people with allergies. In addition, tobacco smoke has been shown to make asthma worse in preschool children and may even cause it.

REFINED GRAINS

Refined grains, such as white flour, instant rice, enriched pasta, and many types of fast food contain few nutrients and little fiber compared to the natural whole grains they are derived from. Prolonged and excessive consumption of refined grains and highly processed foods containing pesticides, chemical additives, and preservatives can weaken the immune system and make you vulnerable to developing chronic conditions. Read How to maximize fiber intake

LACK OF VITAMIN D

When vitamin D binds to specific receptors, it sets off a chain of events by which many toxic pathogens and agents including cancer cells are rendered harmless. However, if there is not enough vitamin D the system can become overwhelmed and disease can develop.

DEHYDRATION

Chronic dehydration can have a variety of different effects on chronic diseases. Some evidence indicates that dehydration may be related to susceptibility to specific cancers. See What Happens To Your Body When You Don't Drink Enough Water? and How to Tell If You Are Getting Enough Water. It is vital to maintaining a good level of hydration to assist in eliminating byproducts of any illness and help the immune system fight off infection. SEE HOW TO USE WATER TO PRESERVE HEALTH

ANXIETY AND FEAR

All negative emotions release something that can affect the functions of the body. Holding negative feelings too long can wear out the immune system and as a result, cortisol levels will increase dramatically. The dangers of modern life have a stranglehold on people’s imaginations.

FOOD INDUSTRY ADDITIVES AND TOXINS

Food industry additives and colors are one major cause of ADHD, asthma, cancer and many other diseases creating a toxic environment for our health.

SUGAR...
Sucrose suppresses the immune system, leads to weight gain and leaches precious minerals from your body. Even in small amounts, sugar is detrimental to your health. Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. Read How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake.

LACK OF SLEEP

You may have noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone. It may also lead to more inflammation in your body. Here is what you can do to sleep better.

DRUGS

More research on hundreds of different drugs is suggesting that they increase a person’s susceptibility to infection by crippling immune function. Researchers found that certain people taking antibiotics had reduced levels of cytokines — the hormone messengers of the immune system.
Many medications counter the synergistic effects of immune cells which network with tissues and organs that work together to defend the body against disease, infection, and viruses. Most medications also contain a high level of specific toxins which inhibit good bacteria in the gut which is a prime source of immunity in human beings.

ALCOHOL

Alcohol is known to cause long-term serious consequences for a persons body and mind. Drinking a couple of glasses of wine each day has generally been considered a good way to promote cardiovascular and brain health. Alcohol also impedes the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease. Excessive alcohol consumption or long-term alcohol abuse can lead to an immune deficiency in two ways — nutritional deficiency and reducing white blood cells. See Tips on the management of alcoholism.

CHRONIC STRESS

Mild stress can be a very a good thing for the body. The way we manage, react and deal with stress is the most significant factor in how stress affects our body. Many people ignore stress but it has a major influence on our immune system. Learn more about Stress-related disorders.

Chronic stress — caused by stressful situations or events that last over a long period of time — raises cortisol levels in the body which decreases the production of ‘good’ prostaglandins. See how to deal with stress

YOU DON'T EXERCISE - SEE THIS GUIDE

Try to get regular, moderate exercise, like a daily 30-minute walk. It can help your immune system fight infection.

If you don't exercise regularly, you're more likely to get colds, for example, than someone who does. Exercise can also boost your body's feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. Both of those are good for your immune system. Read more webmd.com
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